An All-American Trip to Salem

This is the fourth in a series of suggested ways to explore Salem. Destination Salem will feature a new itinerary each Tuesday (#traveltuesday!). These itineraries are not available as a package, and are only suggested ways to explore Salem. Please contact listed sites for hours, rates, and schedules.

Previous itineraries include: Two-Night Itinerary for a Family, Food, Fish, and History, and a Salem Daytrip from Boston

American Trip to Salem

In honor of Independence Day on July 4th, this week we are featuring an all-American itinerary to inspire your exploration of Salem. Native son Nathaniel Hawthorne was born on the Fourth of July, and to celebrate his birth, we recommend a visit to The House of the Seven Gables and a stop at the National Park in Salem, where you can see where Hawthorne worked as a port surveyor in the Custom House.

You may want to start your visit to the Salem Maritime National Historic Site at the visitor center, where you can see the free film; Where Past is Present.  The film presents the history of Salem and all of Essex County, which is designated the Essex National Heritage Area.  The film is shown at 9:45 AM, 10:15 AM, 12:00 PM, 2:00 PM, and 4:00 PM.

Sold around the world, Harbor Sweets chocolates call Salem home. Celebrating their 40th anniversary this year, we think a tour of the Harbor Sweets factory is an all-American experience. Nothing here is out-sourced, in fact, the chocolate is still made with wooden paddles in a non-automated factory in a brick building on Leavitt Street.

Make an overnight of your stay at the Hawthorne Hotel, a Historic Hotel of America, on Salem Common.  Dine in Nathaniel’s in the hotel – named for our favorite author – and grab breakfast or lunch at Red’s Sandwich Shop, in the location of the London Coffee House, where Revolutionaries met in the 18th century.

American Trip to Salem

DO

The House of the Seven Gables, 115 Derby Street, Salem
(978) 745-0991 | 7Gables.org
Discover the secrets of the House of the Seven Gables, which inspired Nathaniel Hawthorne’s famous novel. Admission also includes access to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s birthplace, spectacular seaside gardens, and a unique Museum Store.

Salem Maritime National Historic Site, 160 Derby Street, Salem
(978) 740-1650 | nps.gov/sama
Wander this National Park which preserves one of America’s most influential ports and discover the history behind the buildings, wharves, and the reconstructed vessel Friendship, all of which played a large role in establishing trade between the young American nation and the Far East.

Salem Regional Visitor Center, 2 New Liberty Street, Salem
(978) 740-1650 | nps.gov/sama
This National Park preserves one of America’s most influential ports. Salem Maritime National Historic Site is a National Park in an urban setting, and its historic buildings, wharves, and the vessel Friendship describe the traders and sailors who brought the riches of the Far East to America.  While the visitor center is located on Liberty Street, most of the park is on the Salem Waterfront at Derby Street.

Harbor Sweets Factory Tour, 85 Leavitt Street, Salem
(978) 745-7648 | HarborSweets.com
Harbor Sweets has been making handmade, distinctive New England gift chocolates since 1973. The shop offers a glorious array of gifts and treats, including their signature “Sweet Sloops.”  Tours are given most Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11:00 AM. Please call ahead to confirm availability.

STAY

Hawthorne Hotel, 18 Washington Square West, Salem
(978) 744-4080 | HawthorneHotel.com
The Hawthorne has been an icon on the North Shore since 1925. The historic and elegant Hotel is located in the heart of Salem and has hosted well-known personalities such as President George Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush, Walter Cronkite, and Bette Davis. It boasts 93 rooms including a four-room antique house as well as two dining areas: the cozy, fireplaced Tavern and award-winning Nathaniel’s.

DINE

Red’s Sandwich Shop, 15 Central Street, Salem
(978) 745-3257 | RedsSandwichShop.com
If you’re looking for the real Salem, try Red’s Sandwich Shop for breakfast or lunch. John and Lisa and the friendly staff of Red’s welcome you to Salem’s most popular landmark for over 50 years. The hearty food has won many awards over the years-most notably for the North Shore’s best breakfast, best luncheon, best coffee and best bagels. Red’s also won the Heritage Days’ Chowderfest and has been praised on the Boston Globe’s “Cheap Eats” and on the Phantom Gourmet’s “Hidden Jewel”.

Nathaniel’s in the Hawthorne Hotel, 18 Washington Square, Salem
(978) 825-4311 | HawthorneHotel.com
Located in the iconic Hawthorne Hotel, Nathaniel’s menu offers dishes ranging from historic items of a bygone era to contemporary, eclectic fare. Nathaniel’s also offers demi-portions of its most popular items including their signature dish, Scallops Sophia.

Small Business Saturday

The Salem Chamber and Salem Main Streets are organizing a holiday shopping event for the Salem, MA downtown area on Small Business Saturday, November 25 from 10 am – 7 pm. Small Business Saturday is part of the “Shop Small” movement initiated by American Express to encourage holiday shoppers to shop local on Saturday, November 25.

Christmas in Salem Preview Candlelit Tour

The Preview Candlelight Tour of Christmas in Salem will be available for advance ticket holders only and will feature selected homes.

Christmas in Salem invites visitors to tour historic homes in the Salem Common neighborhood. Homes will be beautifully decorated for the holiday season. A complimentary trolley takes visitors from downtown parking locations to the tour route, providing historical information and a festive ride that will get everyone in the holiday spirit. There are local attractions, walking tours, live music, and hotel discounts available for all tour goers.

Over the weekend all sites will be open for tours. Tickets for the Friday night candlelight tour MUST  be purchased in advance using the link below. No tickets are available for sale on the night of December 1.

 

Santa’s Arrival & Holiday Tree Lighting

A beloved annual tradition, Santa Claus will arrive at the top of the Hawthorne Hotel at 18 Washington Square – with assistance from the Salem Fire Department, of course! Santa’s arrival will be followed by a procession down the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall for the annual lighting of Salem’s Holiday Tree at Lappin Park (next to the Bewitched Statue at the intersection of Essex Street and Washington Street).

LAUNCH! New Year’s Eve in Salem

Come ring in the New Year at Old Town Hall! The City of Salem and Salem Main Streets are teaming up to throw LAUNCH!, our third annual New Year’s Eve party, on 31 from 4 pm to 6 pm at Old Town Hall and Derby Square.

This event is free to all and family-friendly, with a $5 suggested donation to help support Salem Main Streets’ “Holiday Happenings” initiatives, including the wreaths and ribbons around the downtown, the Holiday Tree, and LAUNCH! There will be an early countdown promptly at 6 pm.

For more information about New Year’s Eve Salem, contact Kylie Sullivan, Salem Main Streets Executive Director, at (978)744-0004 or kylie@salemmainstreets.org, or visit http://salemmainstreets.org/ and follow Salem Main Streets on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Festive Fridays

Salem Main Streets wants to help you with your holiday shopping by working with retailers to stay open late every Friday in December (minus Christmas). Follow Salem Main Streets on Facebook for the latest in who’s open and what’s happening around town.

38th Annual Christmas in Salem

Christmas in Salem features a glimpse into private homes that have been professionally decorated for the holiday season as well as a series of special events such as walking tours and wine tastings that are exclusive to Christmas in Salem ticket holders. Each year, the tour features a different neighborhood in historic Salem and therefore explores a series of unique histories and architectural tales. Proceeds from the event support historic preservation in Salem and the mission of Historic Salem, Inc. House tours take place from 11:30 am – 4:00 pm. Tickets ($35) may be purchased in advance at ChristmasinSalem.org, or at the tour headquarters at 211 Bridge Street on the day of the tour.

Additional events include:

Mini Food Tour and Tasting
You’ll have a swell time on this stroll back to the early 50s with Salem Food Tours‘ Karen Scalia. From tomato consommé to molded fruit rings, we’ll walk and chat about some retro holiday meals, cocktails, and dinner service. The Walk takes about 35 minutes, includes a sweet treat, and ends at Salem Wine Imports with a wine tasting. 6pm sharp and 7pm sharp departure from Tour Headquarters at 211 Bridge Street.

Wine Tastings
Head over to Salem Wine Imports to relax with a taste of some great holiday wines and to start your holiday shopping. The tastings are free with your program book and take place on Friday December 1 and Saturday December 2 from 4-8pm and on Sunday December 3 from 1-5pm.

Lectures
“Urban Renewal and Redevelopment in Salem” given by Salem’s official historian, Jim McAllister of Derby Square Tours.
Saturday December 2 at 1 pm and Sunday, December 3 at 1 pm in Murray Hall at the Bridge at 211, located at 211 Bridge Street (tour headquarters).

Salem Garden Club Boutique
Visit the Salem Garden Club boutique on Saturday, December 2 from 10 am–4 pm at tour headquarters, the Bridge at 211, located at 211 Bridge Street, Salem, to purchase to purchase uniquely decorated natural wreaths, sprays, arrangements and much more at tour headquarters. Please note: the boutique will only run on Saturday of Christmas in Salem weekend this season, NOT Sunday.

Artist Events
Visit Salem artist Racket Shreve’s working studio on Saturday from 10:30 am – 4:30 pm and Sunday 11:30 am – 4:30 pm at 17.5 Chestnut Street (upstairs in the barn) to purchase cards and paintings.

Salem Arts will be hosting their First Friday Open House Reception on Dec.1st from 5-8pm to highlight their current exhibit, Membership Showcase, and Gallery Artisan Shop. Complimentary appetizers and beverages will be served and the Galleries and Artisan Shop will be open for viewing and shopping.
Salem Arts will be also open Saturday and Sunday from 10am-5pm to continue to welcome House Tour visitors as well as the Public to see artwork and unique holiday gift items.

For complete event information, please visit ChristmasinSalem.org.

Small Business Saturday 2017 in Salem, MA

 

Salem, MA will celebrate Small Business Saturday with the support of the Salem Chamber of Commerce, Salem Main Streets, and a number of local small businesses. On November 25, head downtown and get some of your holiday shopping done at local small businesses, where you’ll be able to support the community while stocking up on some freebies and using discounts that are exclusive to this shopping event.

Small Business Saturday was founded in 2010 as a way of helping small businesses receive support from their communities during the holiday shopping season when many consumers are shopping at larger chain stores. In recent years, Small Business Saturday has also become part of a larger movement against Black Friday, the holiday shopping event that tends to run earlier into Thanksgiving each year. By shopping during Small Business Saturday instead of Black Friday, we are able to spend more time with our families on Thanksgiving while also supporting our community. For more information on the Shop Small movement, visit ShopSmall.com.

Many retail locations in Salem will be offering various discounts and promotions throughout Small Business Saturday. Shoppers can save 10% on homemade dog biscuits at New England Dog Biscuit Company and apparel purchases from Deacon Giles Distillery, 20% on gold and platinum jewelry from RJ Coins and Jewelry, and 10% on their total purchase from Ye Olde Pepper Companie with mention of their Facebook page. For even more Small Business Saturday fun, get the family together an awkward sweater photoshoot at Witch Pix. Be sure to check out the full list of retailers at Salem-Chamber.org/Small-Business-Saturday! In addition to discounts and seasonal items, select retail locations including the House of the Seven Gables Gift Shop, are providing samples of holiday treats for guests.

A number of restaurants in Salem have joined retailers in promoting Small Business Saturday. Dine at Flying Saucer Pizza Company and enjoy a complimentary Spaceballs appetizer with your meal, or head next door to Gulu-Gulu Café and purchase a gift card with a 10% discount. Visit Jolie Tea Company to enjoy a free pumpkin spice madeleine with your order, and enjoy a free candy following your meal at Thai Place. To give the gift of dining in Salem with some extra savings, pick up a gift certificate for KOTO Asian Grill where you’ll receive an extra $10 with a $50 gift card purchase, and $15 with a $75 gift card purchase.

For more information on Small Business Saturday in Salem, including a complete list of participating businesses, please visit Salem-Chamber.org, and view the complete events calendar for the holiday weekend here.

Kick off 2017 at Launch! and Launch… Light It Up!

Celebrate the New Year with The City of Salem, Salem Main Streets, and Creative Salem, with two events on December 31st! Beginning at 4pm, bring the whole family down to Old Town Hall for Launch! featuring interactive activities and an early countdown just before 6pm. Later, return to Old Town Hall for Launch… Light it Up!, an all-new event just for the 21+ crowd.

jandrews-soc-palates-balloon-drop-768x512Returning for its 4th year, Launch allows families to ring in the New Year early while enjoying hat making, a photo booth, face painting, and an interactive art exhibit by Phil Wyman. Activities new for this year’s event will include a silent kids’ disco and arcade games courtesy of Bit Bar.

While not a ticketed event, a $5 donation to Salem Main Streets is suggested. Collected funds will go towards Holiday Happenings programming for events like the Holiday Tree and other decorations we enjoy downtown.

At 9pm Old Town Hall with the assist by lighting specialists Retonica, the historic room (upstairs) will be transformed into a 21+ Black Light dance party featuring local band Dandrew with professional sound engineer Seth Albaum from Upside Media LLC.

Downstairs guests can chill out in the Bit Bar lounge with classic arcade games, enjoy fire and ice inspired nibbles from Bambolina, make adult party hats with Grace & Diggs, capture the memories in a PhotoBooth and more. There will also be cash bars on both floors expertly manned by North Shore Bartenders and they will be bringing some glow-tastic special beverage creations!15327394_1453549711323608_1158971660898151082_n

At midnight the party heats up with a light and laser presentation by Retonica, champagne toast AND a special late night treat delivery by Goodnight Fatty! For people wandering by the stretch between Essex St and Old Town Hall there will be a lighting of the NYE ball and lighting presentation outside too!

Tickets ($20 per person) for Launch… Light it Up! are on sale now, and may be purchased through Creative Salem’s website. Event is 21+ and will go from 9pm to 1am.

For more information on these events, visit SalemMainStreets.org or CreativeSalem.com, or find the events on Facebook.

Salem Holiday Happenings

Celebrate, shop, and dine in Salem during the holiday season.  Festival highlights include Historic Salem, Inc.’s annual Christmas in Salem Historic House Tour and Santa’s arrival atop the Hawthorne Hotel. And don’t miss the third annual Launch! celebration on New Year’s Eve, now featuring an early family-friendly event and a late night party for the adults.

Shop for “Christmas in July” in Salem

Partridge in a Bear Tree

Feeling festive knowing that Christmas is just five months away? The summer months are a wonderful time to take advantage of Salem’s maritime attractions and enjoy the outdoors with the warmer weather. Salem has also become a shopper’s paradise featuring a host of shops with everything from accessories and clothing, to witch shops, pet supplies, and even Christmas ornaments and gifts (many sold year-round!)

Located on Pickering Wharf, Partridge in a Bear Tree is celebrating their third year in Salem! The shop carries Christmas ornaments and figures like Jim Shore pieces, Snow Babies, Byers’ Choice Carolers, and other Christmas collectibles year-round. The shop is the perfect place to find themed ornaments for friends and family at home too, as they carry ornaments based on sports, hobbies, military, career, wedding/anniversary, and baby’s first Christmas. Seasonal decorations (that are also sold year-round) include nautical designs for the summer, and Halloween ornaments decoration and the Halloween village sets for the fall.

Trolley Depot

Other summery Christmas shopping opportunities can be found on the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall at either Coon’s Card and Gift Shop/Penelope’s Pet Boutique or the Trolley Depot. A trip to Coon’s will lead you to a collection of Salem-themed pewter ornaments, the perfect souvenirs for remembering your trip to the Witch City. Additional pewter ornaments may be found just down the street at Trolley Depot, which also stocks Halloween-themed ornaments as well as glass ornaments crafted by Old World Christmas Company.

The House of the Seven Gables

 

If you’re looking for a souvenir to remember some of your favorite Salem attractions, be sure to visit the gift shops at the Salem Witch Museum and the House of the Seven Gables. Shop the Salem Witch Museum for detailed gold and ceramic witch-themed ornaments, as well as pieces with the museum logo, or shop the House of the Seven Gables for ceramic and silver ornaments depicting the site’s historic buildings. Forgot to purchase these ornaments during your trip? Both the Salem Witch Museum and the House of the Seven Gables have online shops.

For the artists and art lovers in your life, visit the shop at the Peabody Essex Museum. The shop features an array of enameled butterfly and hummingbird ornaments year-round both in the museum and online.

 

Peabody Essex Museum

Salem Witch Museum

For even more ornaments, visit Waite and Peirce, where all purchases (including ornaments!) will help to support the Salem Maritime National Historic Site. And don’t leave Salem without an ornament to remember your stay at the Salem Waterfront Hotel (or the hotel’s Regatta Pub), as the hotel’s ornaments are available for purchase year-round.

Planning a trip to Salem for the holidays? Salem Holiday Happenings begin November 25 and run through January 1. Check the calendar for holiday events during your next visit, like Christmas in Salem and the Launch! New Year’s Eve events.

 

Market by the Sea! Sea Level’s 1st Annual Marketplace

Join Sea Level Oyster Bar and Kitchen for their First Annual Holiday Marketplace! Vendors that will be featured include stained glass, skincare and cosmetics, photography, soaps, holiday decor, food and wine, woodworking, stationery, and clothing. This is a chance to get an early start on your holiday shopping!

Salem.org